Ahead of Euro 2024, we identify the players who’ve scored the most goals during single editions of the European Championship.

Who holds the record for the most goals scored at a single edition of the European Championship? How many times has a player scored at least five goals at the Euros? And which player has scored the most goals for England at a single tournament in the competition’s history?

Here, we delve into Opta’s archives to chart the highest scorers in the history of the Euros.

Most Goals at a Single Euros by a Player

9 Goals – Michel Platini (1984)
6 Goals – Antoine Griezmann (2016)
5 Goals – Marco van Basten (1988), Alan Shearer (1996), Patrick Kluivert (2000) Savo Milosevic (2000), Milan Baros (2004), Cristiano Ronaldo (2020), Patrik Schick (2020)
4 Goals – Gerd Müller (1972), Dieter Müller (1976), Nuno Gomes (2000), Wayne Rooney (2004), Ruud van Nistelrooy (2004), David Villa (2008), Harry Kane (2020), Romelu Lukaku (2020), Karim Benzema (2020), Emil Forsberg (2020)

9 Goals

Michel Platini, Euro 1984

France legend Michel Platini holds the record for the most goals scored in a single edition of the Euros, and has done since 1984. In fact, nobody has even come close to matching his total, even with the tournament organisers introducing a round-of-16 match in more recent times. Incredibly, Platini’s nine-goal haul came back when only eight teams contested the Euros.

On home soil, Platini kicked off the competition with the only goal in a 1-0 win over Denmark, before hitting back-to-back hat-tricks in France’s next two games – a 5-0 win over Belgium and a 3-2 victory against Yugoslavia – to complete a perfect group stage for the hosts.

Platini was then the hero in the semi-final against Portugal, scoring in the 119th minute with an extra-time winner, before he extended his run of netting in every game in the tournament by opening the scoring in the final against Spain.

Five games, nine goals. We’re unlikely to see anything like it ever again.

6 Goals

Antoine Griezmann, Euro 2016

What is it with Frenchmen playing in France?

The closest challenger to Platini’s astonishing record – which remains three goals clear of anyone else – is compatriot Griezmann in the 2016 edition – also held in France. The difference this time was Griezmann couldn’t quite inspire his side to glory, France instead falling short at the final hurdle.

What is so impressive about Griezmann’s tally is that he had to wait until the 90th minute of France’s second game to find the net, and that was his only goal of the entire group stage.

antoine griezmann goals at euro 2016

It was in the knockout rounds that Griezmann truly came alive. He scored both goals in the round-of-16 comeback win over Republic of Ireland, before hitting France’s fourth goal in the 5-2 quarter-final win over Iceland. His best night came in the semi-final, though, when his brace against reigning world champions Germany secured a place in the final against Portugal.

It wasn’t to be for Griezmann and France, though; they failed to find the net with any of their 18 shots in the final, with the in-form Griezmann having four unsuccessful attempts. The unheralded and oft-forgotten Éder came on for only his third substitute appearance of the tournament to score his only goal and win it for Portugal.

5 Goals

Marco van Basten, Euro 1988

The Netherlands’ only ever triumph at a major tournament was inspired by Van Basten’s five goals at Euro 88. At another eight-team, two-group edition of the competition, the Dutch legend only scored in three of his side’s five games – but they were goals of huge significance.

The Oranje opened their group-stage campaign with a 1-0 defeat to the Soviet Union, but Van Basten hit a hat-trick in their next match – a 3-1 win over England (who, incidentally, crashed out without winning a point). Van Basten then struck an 88th-minute winner in a semi-final win over hosts West Germany, before scoring the Netherlands’ second in a 2-0 payback win in the final against the Soviet Union.

Alan Shearer, Euro 1996

The first player in this list to fail to make the final and, surprise surprise, it’s an England player.

Shearer so nearly fired England to glory with his five goals at Euro 96, but football did not, despite the Lightning Seeds’ insistence it would, come home.

Shearer scored four goals in three group stage games, including the ‘other’ one in the 2-0 win over Scotland, when Paul Gascoigne scored one of England’s most iconic goals, and a brace in the 4-1 win over the Netherlands, which remains one of England’s most impressive ever performances at a major tournament.

alan shearer at Euro 96alan shearer at Euro 96

He failed to break down an obdurate Spain in the quarter-finals, but England won a penalty shootout to make it into the semi-final, where Shearer gave England a dream start with his third-minute opener. Stefan Kuntz struck back, though, and the game eventually went to penalties. We all know what happened next.

Patrick Kluivert, Euro 2000

In the first of two European Championships in which more than one player scored 5+ goals, Kluivert was one of the players of the tournament.

Netherlands stormed through the group stage with three wins from three – Kluivert scoring against France and Denmark – before they blew Yugoslavia away (more on them to come) in the quarter-finals. Kluivert struck a hat-trick inside the hour before his side eventually ran out 6-1 winners, with their opponents’ consolation goal scored by…

Savo Milosevic, Euro 2000

The joint-top scorer at Euro 2000 was former Aston Villa man Milosevic, who was somewhat let down by his team’s defenders at the tournament.

With his team 3-0 down to Slovenia in Yugoslavia’s first game, he scored twice in the last half hour to help rescue a draw, before netting the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Norway.

Milosevic then opened the scoring against Spain in what was essentially a play-off for top spot in Group C, only for Yugoslavia to ship four goals and lose 4-3. They were then thrashed in the quarters, but Milosevic got his goal to earn himself half a golden boot.

Milan Baros, Euro 2004

Liverpool forward Baros was on fire at Euro 2004. As it turned out, he could only be stopped by eventual winners Greece, who somehow seemed able to keep a clean sheet against absolutely everyone.

Baros scored a goal in each of his side’s three group games as the Czech Republic impressively finished top of a section that also contained the Netherlands and reigning world champions Germany, taking nine points from a possible nine. He then scored two more in a 3-0 win over Denmark in the quarter-finals before being shut out by Greece in the semis.

All five of Baros’ goals, interestingly, were scored between the 63rd and 77th minutes, suggesting he was particularly good at conserving his energy and striking when his opponents were tiring.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Euro 2020

The delayed Euro 2020 tournament was interesting in a few ways, but one especially notable quirk of this edition of the Euros was that it threw up two five-goal top scorers, neither of whom made it past the quarter-finals.

Ronaldo followed up glory at Euro 2016 with a remarkable showing five years later. Portugal crashed out in the round of 16 with a 1-0 defeat to Belgium, but not before Ronaldo had racked up five goals in the group stage, three of them coming from the penalty spot. That probably makes this the least impressive haul on this list.

cristiano ronaldo goals at euro 2020

Patrik Schick, Euro 2020

At any international tournament, you inevitably get forgettable group-stage games. Scotland vs Czech Republic at Euro 2020 was destined to be one of those until six minutes into the second half at Hampden Park, when Schick decided to shoot from the halfway line. He beat David Marshall in the Scotland goal to score one of the great European Championship goals; somehow, it only came third in that year’s Puskás award.

patrik schick goals at euro 2020

Schick had already scored once in that win, and went on to make it three in two with a penalty against Croatia in the next match. He then scored in the round-of-16 win over Netherlands before netting what ultimately proved to be a consolation goal in a 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Denmark.

Incredibly – but perhaps not that surprising given where he scored his second goal against Scotland from – Schick’s five goals came from just 1.2 expected goals (xG).

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